SayUncle has the background on the case of Embody v. Ward, in regards to an SAF brief that must be read if you’re into all the detailed legal stuff. Generally speaking, in common law it was an offense to go about armed to the terror of the people. Blackstone was never remarkably clear about exactly what that meant, but in the modern context Embody probably falls into that category.
The District court reached that the Second Amendment right was limited, not applying in public parks. SAF’s brief essentially argues Embody can be disposed of without having to so limit the right. From their argument:
Heller’s recognition of a right to carry a handgun does not force states to allow the carrying of handguns in a manner that may cause needless public alarm, so long as a more socially-conductive option exists to allow people to exercise the right to bear arms. But once a legislature determines that only a particular manner of carrying will be permitted, that choice must be honored.
No doubt they are going to take some heat for that statement from people who fail to grasp the implications of fighting this battle out in the courts, but I think their chosen strategy here is a wise one, that comports with the original common law conceptions of the right, and how it’s been implemented in the American tradition. The state may regulate the manner of carry, but may not outright prohibit it. Under SAF’s standard here, it would be questionable, for instance, about whether New Jersey could, say, ban all but open carry, since it’s pretty obviously not the “more socially-cunductive option” in regards to the exercise of the right. But under this standard, New Jersey could ban open carry.
For folks who don’t like this, you can thank Leonard Embody. Now the game is to try to undo the damage he has already done, and I think if SAF’s brief is influential with the court here, it’s the best way to accomplish that.